Check out: http://www.youtube.com/BostonDynamics
The Semiconductor Packaging Blog has discussed this topic before, although there have been new developments with other similar projects:
In a recent Boston Dynamics press release, they are developing a “…System which is comprised of the humanoid robot and a containment test chamber that the US Army will use to test warfighter protective equipment. The development program has a 13 month design phase followed by a 17 month build, installation and validation phase with delivery of the robot taking place in the second quarter of 2011.” This machine even sweats like a human would! Yuck…
Another project showcases “…a four-wheeled robot with one mighty leg for jumping. When fully operational, the robot will navigate autonomously using its wheels, but will jump onto or over obstacles when it meets them. The machine will be able to jump over 25 feet into the air.”
As you can imagine, these applications all require the electronic components to survive harsh environments, although we were unable to uncover the exact test requirements.
What do you think – is this a step in the right direction, or a step too far?